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Burrowing Owl

(Athene cunicularia)


Category: Birds



As their name implies, these owls live in burrows and are willing to either dig their own or inhabit those made by prairie dogs or other burrowing animals such as skunks and armadillos. They prefer to live in open areas and inhabit grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, and other similar habitats in North, Central, and South America. These industrious owls will actually collect mammal dung and place it in and around their burrows to attract beetles, which they then capture and devour.




Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Strigiformes
Family - Strigidae
Genus - Athene
Species - A. cunicularia

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Interesting Animal Facts

“Bird Brain” should be taken as a compliment.

Calling someone a “bird brain” is an insult, but perhaps it should be reconsidered given how many birds display high intelligence and adaptability. For just a few examples, the kea from New Zealand can solve logical puzzles and work with other birds in order to acquire food, observations of Cormorants used by Chinese fishermen indicate that the birds can count up to seven, and many species of birds use simple tools such as sticks to help them acquire food or other items that catch their fancy! There is also a cockatoo named Snowball who can dance to the beat of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself,” though whether this indicates intelligence or not may be a matter of debate or personal taste.

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